A prominent Catholic bishop in Cameroon was released late Saturday after being kidnapped in the country’s volatile English-speaking Northwest region, according to church officials.
“Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo Diocese has been released by his captors. He is back in the parish and in good health,” the officials said in a statement.
Armed separatists claimed responsibility for kidnapping the bishop, claiming that they “wanted him to pray and bless us.”
The abduction came barely a week after two Catholic priests were kidnapped in the region.
Kidnapping of priests has become widespread in the region since an armed conflict started in 2017.
Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions are English-speaking, while the rest of about 80 percent of the country is French-speaking. Separatists in the two English-speaking regions have been fighting government forces in an effort to establish a separate state.
About 530,000 people have been displaced internally and hundreds killed by the conflict, according to the United Nations.